How a new source of water is helping reduce conflict in the Middle East

Editor:   The following is an excerpt of an article by Rowan Jacobsen. It offers an intriguing idea and opportunity that not only could help bring water to countries (and villages) parched by continuing drought but also help resolve conflicts between warring nations.

Scientists and others look to desalination as a way to unite longtime enemies in a common cause.

Israel's Sorek Desalination Plant - an opportunity for water and easing conflicts

Israel’s Sorek Desalination Plant – an opportunity for water and easing conflicts

Ten miles south of Tel Aviv, I stand on a catwalk over two concrete reservoirs the size of football fields and watch water pour into them from a massive pipe emerging from the sand. The pipe is so large I could walk through it standing upright, were it not full of Mediterranean seawater pumped from an intake a mile offshore.

“Now, that’s a pump!” Edo Bar-Zeev shouts to me over the din of the motors, grinning with undisguised awe at the scene before us. The reservoirs beneath us contain several feet of sand through which the seawater filters before making its way to a vast metal hangar, where it is transformed into enough drinking water to supply 1.5 million people.

Continue reading

Chemical-free desalination and fracking – a viable solution?

Atlantis Technologies has announced a new, low-cost technology that eliminates the use of chemicals for fracking

Among the many environmental issues related to fracking – a process in which high pressure water is injected into the ground to drill for and extract resources such as oil and gas – are the amount of water required and the serious chemicals used in it.

Atlantis Technologies, a southern California start-up company, recently announced it had created “a low-cost, chemical-free desalination system that can remove salt from oil, gas, mining, and industrial waste water.”

Continue reading

Drinking reclaimed wastewater – the pros and cons

Several years ago I got to tour the local wastewater treatment plant. Towards the end of the tour, the group I was part of was shown the machinery that did the final “scrubbing”.

In explaining the process, our guide mentioned that one of the final steps included putting the “cleaned” water through reverse osmosis. That brought the former wastewater up to drinking standards!

But is reclaimed wastewater really safe for drinking?

Continue reading